Category: Ancient Cilvilizations and Giants

New Evidence Revealed About Stone from Breastplate of Temple Priest Hidden in South Africa

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz November 6, 2019 , 1:50 pm

“The stones shall correspond [in number] to the names of the sons of Yisrael: twelve, corresponding to their names. They shall be engraved like seals, each with its name, for the twelve tribes.” Exodus 28:21 (The Israel Bible™)

The sardonyx stone. in the papyrus casket in which it was carried (Courtesy of owner)

The Breastplate from Solomon’s Temple

The story begins in 1189 when Croiz Arneet deTarn Auret left France to fight in the Crusades. Auret arrived in Jerusalem and, according to Auret family tradition, received a very special stone from “the High Priest” in gratitude for his part in freeing Jerusalem. The stone was allegedly taken from the חושן המשפט(Choshen HaMishpat, the High Priest’s breastplate).

You shall make a breastpiece of decision, worked into a design; make it in the style of the ephod: make it of gold, of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and of fine twisted linen. Exodus 28:15

Twelve different precious stones were engraved with the names of the tribes and mounted on the breastplate. In addition to the 12 stones mounted on the breastplate were two sardonyx stones fixed in gold settings on the shoulders of the High Priest.  

And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulder-pieces of the ephod, to be stones of memorial for the children of Israel; and Aharon shall bear their names before Hashem upon his two shoulders for a memorial. Exodus 28:12

A Crusader Brings Home a Biblical Inheritance

The custodianship of the stone was passed on in the Auret family through the male line until the nineteenth century. That tradition was broken when Abraham Auret passed away in 1889, bequeathing the stone to his daughter, Christina Elizabeth.

After her marriage to William James Hurst, the stone left the Auret name, and has been passed on from mother to daughter ever since. Meticulously recorded family trees and genealogical reports corroborate the story. The stone was passed on as an inheritance and is presently owned by an elderly woman in South Africa, who wished to remain anonymous.

Verifying the Truth of the Stone

Approximately 25 years ago, she considered selling the stone. Towards that end, she needed to have experts verify the claim. Most of the relevant experts were in Israel and being unfamiliar with the country, she turned to a friend, Gary Fox, a devout Christian who had several years in Israel, to act as a liaison. Fox recently contacted Breaking Israel News to relate his experiences with the remarkable stone.

“I went to Johannesburg and taken into a bank vault,” Fox told Breaking Israel news,  describing the presence of armed guards stationed inside the vault for the viewing. “They did know how much it was worth but they were quite nervous about protecting it. It was very cloak and dagger. The family was very nervous.”

The Miracle of the Kohen’s Breastplate: Light 

At first, Fox thought the story was too fantastic to be true but he was fascinated by its appearance. He asked to touch the stone and the family reluctantly agreed.

The sardonyx stone, with inscription visible inside. (Courtesy of owner)

“I was skeptical,” Fox said. “But the moment I picked it up, I knew at that moment that I had something in my hands something that was supernatural.”

“As I touched it, it lit up,” Fox said. “I actually got a fright and jumped. One of the family members giggled and said, ‘Yes, the stone speaks.”

It is important to note that Fox’s claim is consistent with the characteristics of the stones of the breastplate as they are described in Jewish sources. The Talmud (Yoma 73a) describes how questions were put to the breastplate, and the stones would light up to spell out the answer. The book of Samuel lists the urim v’tummim (an undefined Hebrew term referring to the stones of the breastplate) as one of the three forms of divine communication: dreams, prophets, and the urim v’tummim.

And when Shaul inquired of Hashem, Hashem answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. I Samuel 28:6

In the course of investigating this article, this reporter spoke to several of the people involved in proving the stone’s provenance. Fox’s experience was not unique. Several witnesses described the phenomenon of the stone lighting up as if from some inner source, though one witness described the stone turning dark. This seemed to be a highly personal experience.

“In my mind, I was thinking, ‘thank the lord it turned light’,” Fox said. “From a Christian point of view, I knew that the Lord had brought me into this for a purpose so I decided I would do whatever I needed to do. This stone traveled from Jerusalem, the City of God, through Europe, to finally end up in ‘the City of Gold; Johannesburg. This was the apt place to keep this gem, this incredible God thing, hidden until the time was right for it to be revealed.” 

It should be noted that Johannesburg is indeed referred to as the City of Gold due to the enormous gold deposits in the region. But the largest city in South Africa is intrinsically related to Jerusalem which was also dubbed ‘the City of Gold” in a famous Naomi Shemer song composed in 1967. Three weeks after the song was written, IDF troops entered Jerusalem, singing the song, unifying the city that was the heart of the Jewish people.

Expert Verification: Inexplicable Engravings, Miraculous Explanations

The owner of the stone asked Fox to travel to Israel in order to convince Dr. Joan Goodnick Westenholz, Chief Curator at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem, to come to South Africa to examine the stone. Not only did the Bible Lands Museum host an impressive display of archaeological artifacts, many from the Biblical period, but it also contained the largest exhibit of ancient jewelry in the world.

While discussing the stone, Dr. Westenholz mentioned the tradition of the urim v’tummim and Fox interjected, “This stone speaks.” Dr. Westenholz was visibly intrigued by his statement. 

Fox succeeded in convincing Dr. Westenholz to travel to South Africa where she insisted on taking the stone to a laboratory for a full evaluation. Despite not being a religiously observant Jew, Dr. Westenholz was so impressed by seeing the sardonyx that she was concerned about transferring ritual impurity to the stone. She refused to touch it without gloves. In her notarized report, she observed what appeared to be two engravings under the surface of the stone, one of which she identified as a bet’. 

“What was remarkable was that the engravings were under the surface and followed the curvature of the stone,” Fox said, “They were geologically formed, appearing under the microscope like little bubbles formed into a perfect shape as the stone itself was formed.”

This was the point at which his artistic abilities came into play. Fox sketched the stone, including outlines of the two engravings. 

“They had no idea what the second engraving was,” Fox said. “After seeing my sketches, she suddenly realized that it was a wolf. She noted that the wolf corresponded to the blessing Jacob gave Benjamin.

Binyamin is a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he devoureth the prey, and at even he divideth the spoil. Genesis 49:27

After inspecting the stone under a microscope, Dr. Westnholtz determined that the tools used and the polish indicated the stone had been manufactured in the Middle East during the time the Children of Israel left Egypt.

The Story Continues

The owner of the stone was thrilled with the assessment but the process of verifying the stone continued for several more years. Though it is impossible to definitively determine the age of the stone, Dr. James Strange, a noted professor in religious studies and archaeology, who inspected the sardonyx in 2000 was perplexed at what he saw. 

“I was unaware that anyone in the late Middle Ages had the technology to cut a hemisphere in such a medium, so I tried to exhaust all other explanations,” he told Breaking Israel News in an interview in 2016.

Even more astounding than the cut of the stone was the inexplicable inscription inside the stone, visible through the clear surface: two letters in ancient Hebrew. Dr. Stone wrote in his appraisal of the gem, “There is no modern or ancient technology known to me by which an artisan could produce the inscription, as it is not cut into the surface of the stone.”

It is interesting to note that according to Jewish tradition, the stones of the breastplate were engraved by the shamir, a worm capable of cutting the hardest rock with absolute precision. The shamir was reputed to have existed in the time of Moses, as one of the ten wonders created on the eve of the first Sabbath, just before God finished creation.

Dr. Stone consulted with Ian Campbell, Director of the Independent Coloured Stones Laboratory in Johannesburg and a leading South African gemologist. Mr. Campbell, photomicrographed (photographing via a microscope) the stone, confirming it had not been cut open to make the inscription.

Professor M. Sharon from the University of Witwatersrand and an expert in ancient Hebrew, inspected the stones and noted the inscriptions in ancient Hebrew script of what he described as “the equivalent of our ‘B’ and ‘K’.” He identified the style of script, dating it to be from the year 1000 BCE, give or take 200-300 years.

“Due to the clarity of the letters and their fine definition it would be incredible if they are a coincidental natural formation in the stone,” he stated in his notarized report. “The lack of any apparent sign of interference with the surface makes the existence of the letters inside the stone a real enigma.”

Dr. Westenholz and Ian Campbell have since passed away, but Breaking Israel News was able to confirm that their statements and documentation were genuine. Campbell’s apprentice, Jeremy Rothon, confirmed the original appraisal and told Breaking Israel News that he was well aware of the stone’s heritage. It had made an enormous impression on Campbell and he had discussed it at length with his student.

The family’s initial nervousness proved to be justified. The stone was eventually verified by several experts who appraised its value at approximately $200 million. 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10183

Horn of the Stone Altar Discovered at Shiloh

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz November 1, 2019 , 12:02 pm

And the height of the mizbayach hearth shall be 4 amot, with 4 horns projecting upward from the hearth: 4 amot. Ezekiel 43:15 (The Israel Bible™)

Excavations at the Biblical Tel Shiloh, a potential site of the Jewish Tabernacle. (Wikimedia Commons)

The archaeological dig at Shiloh in Samaria has produced yet another wonder straight out of the Bible: stone horns from the altar that once stood in front of the Tabernacle.

Archeologists and volunteers from the Associates for Biblical Research in Texas, a Christian organization that brings together Biblical research and archaeology to mutually advance both disciplines, led by Dr. Scott Stripling, provost at The Bible Seminary in Katy (Houston) Texas, made the discovery. Dr. Stripling served as a field supervisor of the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project from 2005 to 2010 before moving on to lead the dig at Khirbet el-Maqatir from 2013 to 2017. Stripling moved his team ten miles north to Shiloh in 2017. 

In addition to its significant archaeological relevance, Shiloh is important for being mentioned in the Bible as being the site of the Jewish Tabernacle for 369 years. Dr. Stripling supports this claim though some archaeologists disagree. The claim is difficult to prove since the Tabernacle was a portable structure and had few elements that would remain intact to this day. 

Three altar horns were discovered during ABR’s excavations at Shiloh, Israel this season. Horn one: 38 cm long and 23.5 cm wide (15” x 9.25”). One of the few elements that would stand against the sands of time was the stone horn-shaped edge of an altar the researchers believe dates to the Iron Age (1200–586 BCE ). The horns were an essential part of the altar and used in the Temple service.

Slaughter the bull before Hashem, at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, and take some of the bull’s blood and put it on the horns of the mizbayach with your finger; then pour out the rest of the blood at the base of the mizbayach. Exodus 29:11-12

The horns also the means of obtaining sanctuary, though this was not always effective. Yoav attempted to use this as a means of obtaining sanctuary from King Solomon but was struck down anyway by order of the king.

When the news reached Yoav, he fled to the Tent of Hashem and grasped the horns of the mizbayach—for Yoav had sided with Adoniyahu, though he had not sided with Avshalom… So Benaiah son of Yehoyada went up and struck him down. And he was buried at his home in the wilderness. I Kings 2:28-34

The horns were also described as an essential element of the soon-to-be Third Temple.

And the height of the mizbayach hearth shall be 4 amot, with 4 horns projecting upward from the hearth: 4 amot. Ezekiel 43:15

According to Biblical accounts, the Tabernacle stood in Shiloh until the First Temple was built in Jerusalem. The age of the find is significant as archeologists have discovered a change of cultures in the region, transitioning in the period between 1200 BCE – 1000 BCE from a Canaanite culture to the Tribes of Israel and the Philistines.

Last year, the team uncovered a ceramic pomegranate, a motif that has been found at other sites connected with the priests. Dr. Stripling believes the ceramic ornament fitted with hooks hung from the hen of the priestly garments as described in the Bible. 

On its hem make pomegranates of blue, purple, and crimson yarns, all around the hem, with bells of gold between them all around:a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, all around the hem of the robe. Exodus 28:33-34

“The pomegranate is a sacred motif,” he said. “The only sites in Israel where we have found pomegranates like this one have been Levitical sites.”

They also discovered many pithoi, a Greek term for large clay containers commonly used among the civilizations that bordered the Mediterranean Sea in the Neolithic, the Bronze Age and the succeeding Iron Age for storing fluids and grains. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post, Dr. Stripling theorized that the pithoi were used to store the tithes that were brought to the tabernacle.

“The artifacts and materials we have found are consistent with the Tabernacle but the Tabernacle itself was made of animal skins,” Stripling explained. “Very little of the Tabernacle would remain for us to find.”

“I can tell with 100 percent certainty that there were Israelites in Shiloh because of the many indicators we have,” Dr. Stripling told Breaking Israel News. “The pottery shows that they were there when the Bible says they were there. I cannot yet say that I have 100 percent archaeological evidence the Jewish Tabernacle stood at Shiloh. We do find many reasons to seek confirmation of the Biblical text. There are indications, like the large amount of animal bones that are consistent with the Biblical sacrificial system, and the large east-west walls we are excavating.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10171

Does the Brewer Cave Story Unlock a Hidden History?

Pseudo archaeology , and some of its more controversial claims, have long been the subject of extensive debate among mainstream scholars and the general public. From ancient aliens , creation myths, and races of giants, these subjects are part of a very obscure niche of historical research. But why is it so? Why are these stories so out of the realm of the possible?

Today we’ll try to answer that question, as we dig into the story of the Brewer Cave – a purported discovery of an ancient giant burial in Ohio, USA. When it first appeared, this sensational story opened up a whole new level of connections with other similar discoveries, furthering the possibility that there actually might be some truth to the hard-to-believe story of ancient giants.

Join us as we descend into the world of old Native legends, covered up archaeology finds, and the most shocking hoax stories of the 20th century. Will we discover the truth? I think it’s certainly somewhere out there.

Discovering the Brewer Cave

The story of the Brewer Cave begins in the 1950’s. The cave, which remains unidentified, is claimed to be located somewhere close to Manti, Utah. It gets its name from one Mr. John Brewer, who discovered this cave sometimes around 1955, when he was only 22 years old.

According to the “legend”, as many now describe it, Mr. Brewer was immediately attracted to the cave as he noticed telltale details of soot on the ceiling, and he knew that something more was to be found within. That was the case – the cavern opened into a rectangular chamber in which Brewer allegedly discovered an ancient burial site , a chamber filled with grave goods and two Caucasoid (white) mummies, which were of such a great size that they were recognized as giants.

The problem with the story of Brewer Cave is the fact that this burial chamber was witnessed only by John Brewer and his son, and seemingly no one else. An avid researcher, Brewer didn’t want to share his discovery with the Smithsonian Institute and other official sources, fearing the magnitude of such a discovery wouldn’t be received as properly as he’d hope.

Still, Brewer left behind him detailed sketches of the burial chamber, drawings of the mummies, and a collection of highly unusual and well preserved items, which even today remain a matter of much heated debate. Numerous stone artifacts, finely carved, were discovered, alongside copper spearheads, arrowheads, jewelry, pottery, and numerous undecipherable writings.

Brewer heard of this cave beforehand, from an elderly man by the name of George Keller. Keller visited the chamber in his youth, when it was shown to him by the local Native, Lone Eagle. It was located in the mountains which the Natives lived in, and was considered a sacred site, called the “Cave of the Great Spirit”.

Keller, many decades after, in the 50’s, shared that story with John Brewer, immediately stirring his interest. Brewer originally intended to search around this location in order to unearth arrowheads, which he collected. But after his initial discoveries, Brewer realized that he was on the verge of discovering something much more than arrowheads.

John Brewer claimed to have discovered this chamber behind the Temple Hill at Manti, Utah, more precisely at a hill behind it. After his initial surveying of the chamber, he made repeated returns to it, making it a sort of “in situ” research place. He kept a detailed journal of his discoveries, logging all items after careful studying.

Now, this journal, much like the whole story, is subject to great doubt, leading to claims that it is not authentic and in fact fabricated. This stems from the claim from Brewer himself, who stated that no one saw his journal = he kept it secret.

Terry Carter, a leading researcher of the Brewer Cave story, from the Ancient Historical Research Foundation, stated that : “..I have come to the confident conclusion that this is indeed John Brewer’s own excerpts, from his own personal journal.”

A Princely Grave – The Artifacts of Brewer Cave Burial Chamber

The burial chamber was accessed through a 30 foot (9 meter) entrance. At its end were five steps that led to the doorway and into the chamber. According to Brewers own detailed sketches of the site, there was a trap at the entrance – a hole of unknown depth that was present after the fifth step of the stairs. The trap was traversed by a hidden side passage that went around it.

Once inside, the relatively small chamber was roughly squared shape with a protruding T-shape area which remained unexplored by Brewer. After initial surveys, Brewer discovered a number of artifacts and elements in the chamber. The basic discoveries were arrowheads and pottery objects.

This was followed by a number of quite odd items – a small “book”, measuring 2.25 x 3.25 x 4 inches (5.7 x 8.3 x 10.2 centimeters), which was a binding of several copper plates that resembled a book. This was bound in copper strips and encased in a mud cover, supposedly to preserve it. After the painstaking removal of mud, Brewer discovered that the copper pages were inscribed with numerous undecipherable writings – strange symbols and “letters” consisting of many little lines.

Copper plates purportedly discovered in the Brewer Cave. (Terry Carter / YouTube)

There were also stamped scorpion symbols and many other details, all of which were stamped. The tools with which these were stamped were also discovered. This was followed by a good deal of other small plates, this time not bound.

Some were copper and some were made of gold. All of them were covered in what looked like texts, although in an unknown writing system.

Another find was a small object that looked like a bell. It was roughly made out of lead and covered with more of the writings. It was followed by a number of lead plates, once more, covered with strange inscriptions and diagrams. Brewer also discovered several large stone tablets, incised with the odd symbols.

One of these he accidentally struck with his pick during his excavations. Photographs of all these items exist – and many were gifted to friends. Most of them seem genuine – i.e. seemingly of an ancient origin, possessing the patina, the wear and tear that is generally ascribed to ancient findings.

The next major discovery in the chamber was a set of stone boxes. These were overlooked at first by Brewer, since they were carefully covered in a layer of mud and thus camouflaged into the walls. When mud was removed, Brewer discovered several stone boxes which were carefully covered in juniper bark and resin – seemingly for preservation.

Beneath the bark were perfectly carved rectangular boxes with lids – inside were housed elongated copper tablets with inscriptions. The outside of the boxes were carved with intricate designs, displaying images that are oddly out of place for the North American continent – or are they?

One box, entirely covered with symbols, writings, and drawings, had a large engraving of a boat – with displayed oars, a swelled sail, and a (dragonhead ?) prow. Another box was adorned with a carving of a chariot with horses and a winged man, among other interesting drawings.

The tree bark in which the boxes were preserved in, was radiocarbon dated – Steven E. Jones, Professor of Physics at Brigham Young University stated: “With a radiocarbon age of 5 BC to 390 BC, the Brewer bark sample is thus scientifically demonstrated to be very old. […] The bark used to cover the stone box in question is indeed ancient.”

But the most controversial discovery lay hidden behind the wall itself. Sometime after the initial discovery of the chamber, John Brewer and his son stumbled upon a pair of sarcophagi – stacked one on top the other. The lower one held the preserved body of a woman, while the top one held the body of a man. Brewer, wishing to preserve them as much as possible and not cause excess disturbing of the remains, made careful examinations and his son drew detailed sketches, since photography was not at their disposal at the time.

The mummies were covered with woven “straw-like” blankets, and three more subsequent cover, all covered with resin which could have led to partial preservation of the bodies. According to the sketches and Brewer’s writings, the mummies were preserved to a good extent, and of very great size.

The male was around 9 feet 2 inches (2.80 meters) tall, and 4 feet (1.21 meters) across the shoulders and had red hair and beard. The female mummy was 8 feet 10 inches (2.46 meters) and had blonde hair. Both were elaborately decorated with golden items – crowns and breastplates and shoulder pads. The female had a much more elaborate crown of great size and golden coverings on her breasts.

Si-Te-Cah – the Conquered Red Haired Giants

The story of the Brewer Cave is not the only of its kind. It connects directly to the numerous other documented excavations of a similar nature, which are oddly always obscure and considered on the fringe of modern archaeology. Most of those professional or amateur archaeologists and researchers often claim that their findings, and other such discoveries through the 20th and 19th centuries, were actively suppressed and kept secret by the Smithsonian Institute and the government. Why? We might never know.

But the stories of copper plates inscribed with strange writings, of advanced objects and out of place carvings, and of giant red haired mummies are numerous across the United States and often partially documented, so much so, that they cross deeply into the realm of authenticity.

In fact, similar writings on copper and gold plates were discovered all across America: Among the Shawnee and Creek Indians of Alabama in 1791, in New York in 1923, All over the Upper Midwest in the 1800’s, among the Ojibway Indians of Lake Superior in 1850, in Illinois in 1843, and the list goes on. Moreover, discoveries of giants – both mummified and skeletons – were reported from as early as 17th century all the way to the modern age – all over the USA.

All were reported 9 feet (2.7 meters) and taller, and most of them bearing Caucasian features and red hair. Discoveries from Kanab, Salt Lake City, the Santa Catalina island, the Belt Mountains in Montana in 1889, West Virginia in 1883, Mississippi 1884, Nevada 1947, etc. – all of these giant mummy discoveries bear striking resemblance to the documented finds in Brewer Cave, since they too were accompanied by varied metal plates bearing inscriptions.

One similar find that made the headlines is of the famous Lovelock Cave in Nevada. This is perhaps one of the single most important archaeological sites in North America, yet its finds are oddly obscure and difficult to trace. There were over 10,000 ancient discoveries under several feet of bat guano (excrement) which were quite old and fit strangely with a particular Native myth.

Among the many interesting discoveries of Lovelock, were also the mummified remains of red haired giants, and remnants of human bones which were cannibalized. This discovery, made in the early 1910’s, fit with uncanny precision with the ancient legend of the Northern Paiute Indians.

The oral history of this tribe, passed down for generations, is centered around the Si-Te-Cah – a race of red haired giants as described by the Paiute myth. The myth speaks of the arrival (by migration) of the Paiute into the Great Basin region. Here they encountered the Si-Te-Cah and were since constantly at war with them.

These giants were cannibalistic and consumed the Paiute. They were also called Numa Ticutta by the Paiutes, which meant “People Eaters”. After a prolonged conflict, a coalition of Paiute bands drove the remaining Si-Te-Cah into the Lovelock Cave , trapping them there. The myth states that brush was burned at the cave’s mouth, thus killing all the giants within.

Since then, the Paiute were named the Say-Do-Carah – “The Conquerors”. When the discovery in the Lovelock Cave was made, it certainly gave a lot of credibility to a seemingly whimsical Native myth. One of the prominent Paiute figures, Sarah Winnemucca, described an ancient family heirloom she owned, of a battle dress that was adorned with red hair – seemingly a memorabilia of the earliest Paiute history.

Hiding the Pieces of the Puzzle

All the findings of giant mummies are often quickly discarded, seemingly “disappearing” under very improbable circumstances, and are immediately discredited as being “fringe” and “fantastical”. But once we delve deeper into the (almost) countless discoveries that were made and documented throughout history, after we connect the dots and build upon the exhaustive research made by past researchers, we can finally start seeing a much larger picture of a history that remains hidden before the eyes of the world.

The remains discovered at Lovelock Cave have disappeared. (The Giants Of The Lovelock Cave / YouTube)

What at first seemed a hoax, quickly gets the distinct features of a genuine archaeological discovery. And Brewer Cave story bears all the signs of being genuine. Why does Smithsonian so actively discredit these findings.

Why are remains – previously on display – being removed from the eyes of society and policies actively changed to cover them up? We might never know the true reason, but once the pieces of the puzzle begin setting into place, we can realize that perhaps the history of North America isn’t what we thought thus far.

Who were the original settlers of this continent? Who were these fair skinned peoples of great stature that left so many traces behind them. Could it be that they were the original mound builder cultures? Who left a vast number of mounds, many of which were razed to the ground –for reasons unknown to us.

Whatever the truth is, it remains hidden in mist. It is up to us to discover it, and piece the puzzle of the ancient history of North America.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10164

Was Göbeklitepe An Ancient Temple of Sacrifice?

Göbeklitepe, the world’s oldest  temple, is around 12,000 years old. It was built by hunter-gatherers in the pre-pottery  Neolithic period, before writing and the wheel were invented. Göbeklitepe has rewritten the history of human civilization.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2018, the site began to attract travelers and history enthusiasts from all over the world. The Turkish Ministry of Tourism and Culture designated 2019 as the Year of Göbeklitepe with over a million visitors expected.

As such,  Göbeklitepe is the most important archaeological site in the world. It is a small hill on the horizon, 9.5 miles (15 kilometers) northwest of the town of Urfa in Southern Anatolia. Called “the town of prophets” Urfa has been linked with the biblical  Abraham (some claim that Urfa was the town of Ur mentioned in the Bible) and was known to have hosted the Holy Mandylion.

Once also known as  Edessa, Urfa is on the edge of the rainy area of the  Taurus Mountains , source of the river that runs through the town and joins the Euphrates. Urfa was (and still is) an oasis, which could explain why Göbeklitepe was built nearby.

A life-sized  limestone statue  found in Urfa, at the pond known as Balikli Göl, has been carbon-dated to 10,000 – 9,000 BC, making it the earliest known stone sculpture ever found. Its eyes are made of  obsidian.

Some believe that  Göbeklitepe was a major step in the evolution of religion and the human connection with God – that it marks the beginning of civilization and might be the root of the world’s three great monotheistic religions. Göbeklitepe is a vast collection of stone structures built by Stone Age  hunter-gatherers. Construction started about 12 millennia ago and continued for approximately 2,000 years.

T-Shaped Pillars Symbolizing Humans Found at Göbeklitepe

A typical structure consists of a circle of standing pillars built from stones up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) tall. These pillars each weighed as much as 20 tons (9.1 quintals) and each was carved out of a solid block of granite. They were pried out and moved a few hundred feet using only wooden levers.

The pillars were then erected vertically into a base that had been carved into the bedrock. Some researchers estimate this would have required many clans to come together – perhaps 500 people at a time – to both build and feed the builders.

Each circle is about 30 feet (9.1 meters) in diameter. One circle has 12 stones spaced around its perimeter and two stones in the middle. Only a few of these circles have been excavated so far and the site is already massive. Every circle has two massive T-shaped pillars at the center of the circle.

The T-shaped pillars at Göbeklitepe. ( muratart / Adobe Stock)

Piled up stones serve as a wall to make this circle an enclosure. Smaller pillars surround the area. Some think these T-shaped pillars once held up a thatched roof or other material; others believe they  symbolize humans. This is what I also believe that the builders of Göbeklitepe wanted to attract the  attention of the gods , above the stars, in order to interact with them.

Most of the pillar carvings are of animals. But there are also the ones that are anthropomorphic or in the shape of a human. This was a project similar to building the pyramids of Egypt. But building with  stones that weigh tons began here in Göbeklitepe, long before Egypt or  England with Stonehenge.

What Was the Reason Beyond…

Why was this huge project built?

One thing is clear to the excavators — this site was not a place to live. There is no sign of food storage or farming and it has no evident purpose. Its mission must purely be a religious one. It has been declared the oldest known structure built as a temple.

My point of view for the mysterious Göbeklitepe, which harbors many secrets, is as follows:

One of the most important changes in the history of humanity was taking place in the area between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris about 12,000 years ago. Humankind was just beginning to move from the forager lifestyle to a settled way of living – from hunting and gathering to farming and production.

This transition period took maybe a few centuries or even a millennium. Initially they witnessed a seed from a fruit turning into a crop, emerging from the earth and blooming as a process of rebirth! This might have been the reason for them to start burying their dead and hoping for a rebirth in due time.

Various types of gods with supernatural powers were interrupting their daily life with climate changes and natural disasters. And there was one thing they were sure of: that they must please the gods, behaving as the gods wished them to behave.

In order to save the lives of their loved ones – to see their deceased family members re-born – and in order to start  farming, men believed that they must come to terms with all gods.

They thought that they needed the approval of supernatural powers to shift to a settled life and start farming. When would it rain, when would it storm or hail, or turn everything upside down with earthquakes? Would the sun god, moon god, or other gods, which seemed sometimes to punish men and make them afraid, allow them to farm, to cultivate and harvest?

Seeking the Permission of Gods for Farming

Men tried to placate the gods to avoid their anger and to keep them satisfied. As the gods punished them with  natural disasters , taking many lives when they became angry, men sought a way to mollify the gods, killing some of their own to ward off the gods’ rage, thinking that the gods were satisfied when these people or animals were  sacrificed.

Did they need to obtain the gods’ permission for farming when moving toward permanent settlements? Would they be able to satisfy the gods and harvest the crops if they sacrificed animals and humans – the youngest and most beautiful ones – in rituals and ceremonies?

Perhaps the temples of Göbeklitepe were temples for sacrificial rituals that were created as a result of these ideas! Who knows, maybe this was really so…

Maybe the animal and human bones, catching our eyes among the finds, and beer or wine jugs – possibly used in rituals – do tell us about this, who knows? Whatever the truth, Göbeklitepe temples, whose secrets have not yet been completely discovered, are rewriting the history of humanity.

Ancient site of Göbeklitepe in Turkey, the oldest temple in the world. (Teomancimit /  CC BY-SA 3.0 )

Bribing the Gods!

Human sacrifice was practiced by many ancient cultures. People would be ritually killed in a manner that was supposed to please or appease a god or spirit. Droughts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, etc. were seen as a sign of anger or displeasure by deities, and sacrifices were supposed to lessen the divine ire.

The people of those prehistoric times, who wanted to start a settled life with farming, believed they had to ask for the gods’ permission by sacrificing some of their loved ones. Sacrifice meant that man made a gift to the gods and expected a gift in return. They cut off human heads, defleshed and cleaned the skulls, and hung them at an angle to face the gods.

They wanted the gods to see the huge, human-like pillars first, then the sacrificed humans, especially the young and beautiful ones – and thus be appeased, granting permission for settlement and farming under decent natural conditions, no storm or hail but abundant rain and sunshine… Elucidating what the gods wanted was the secret.

Human sacrifice is not just a ritual act designed to pacify the gods, divine the future, or bring luck and prosperity to those offering the sacrifice. Human sacrifice requires the exchange of a life – willingly or not – in return for supernatural assistance or for a greater cause. And at these temples other, inanimate offerings were also made.

A remarkable find was a limestone statue, referred to as the ‘gift bearer’, a kneeling figure carrying a human head in its hands, the eyes and nose of which are discernible.

Building D pillar. Image of the ‘Gift Bearer’ at Göbeklitepe. (Image: German Archaelogical Institute – DAI / Author Provided)

Many Bones But No Burials at Göbeklitepe

A considerable number of fragmented human bones have been recovered but the evidence of human burials is absent from Göbeklitepe. One explanation is that this particular variation of decapitation and skull modification was connected to activities specific to the Göbeklitepe site.

It is the oldest site where carved skulls have been found and fragments of three modified human  skulls have recently been discovered at Göbeklitepe. Skull carvings are the result of multiple cutting actions, not related to defleshing or scalping, as  defleshing must be accompanied by other types of cutting marks on the skulls, and scalping can be ruled out on the basis of the absence of typical markers.

All skulls found at the site carry  intentional deep incisions along their sagittal axes. In one of these cases, a drilled perforation is also attested. These findings are outstanding because they provide the very first osteological evidence of sacrificial ritual.

Because no signs of healing could be detected, modifications were probably performed shortly after death, which is a robust clue for us to believe that sacrifice was the case. Skulls were carved no earlier than the perimortem stage; this observation is confirmed by microscopic analyses: cut marks are characterized by sharp edges, meaning that the bone was cut when still elastic, that is, at an early state of decay.

Another outstanding feature of one of the skulls found is the drilled perforation in the left parietal, the position of which was carefully chosen so that the skull might hang vertically and face forward, looking at the gods, when suspended. Drilled perforation at the top of the cranium is used to suspend the skull with a cord. Carvings were used for stabilization purposes, preventing the cord from slipping.

One of the 3 skulls found belonged to an individual, 25 to 40 years of age, who was more likely female than male. These pieces of evidence have culminated in the interpretation of Göbeklitepe as a sacrificial ritual center of early hunter-gatherer groups living around Southeast Anatolia.

The people who gathered at these temples were not permanently living in that area and they wanted the temples to stay safe until their next visit. It has been discovered that these temples were hidden by the builders under soil, to protect them until the next sacrificial ceremony – maybe till the next harvest season!

According to a recent study the ancestors of the people who built Stonehenge traveled west across the Mediterranean before reaching Britain. Researchers in London compared DNA extracted from Neolithic human remains found in Britain with that of people alive at the same time in Europe.

The Neolithic inhabitants appear to have traveled from Anatolia (modern  Turkey) to Iberia before winding their way north. Maybe the recently discovered  Dolmen de Guadalperal  ( so called the Spanish Stonehenge) at the Valdecanas Reservoir in Spain – which is also believed to be a place where religious rituals were performed – is another example that had been created by the people that traveled from Göbeklitepe to  Stonehenge.

They reached Britain in about 4,000 BC. Pieces of human bones in soil from niches behind the stone pillars at the site, like those discovered in Göbeklitepe, and the vast amount of animal bone discovered at the site, suggest that ritual sacrifice regularly took place here.

There is perhaps a parallel here with the much later site at Durrington Walls, close to Stonehenge, in Wiltshire, England. Dating to around 2,600 BC, Durrington Walls was a huge ritual timber circle where enormous amounts of animal bone, primarily from pigs and cattle, were discovered.

So, maybe all these temples were the sites of sacrifices to please the gods and seek their permission… and this was how mankind was trying to move from ‘hunting and gathering’ to ‘farming and production’.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10160

Biblical Archaeologists In Israel Make Stunning Discovery Of 5,000 Year-Old City Of Ein Esur, Largest Ancient Settlement Ever Found in Region

“The study of this site at Ein Esur will change forever what we know about the emergence and rise of urbanization in the land of Israel and in the whole region,” said Paz. “And it means that what we know now will change what is written today in the traditional books when people read about the archaeology of Israel.” The ancient settlement contained public and private buildings and areas, streets and alleys and was surrounded by a fortification wall.

by Geoffrey Grider October 7, 2019

A massive 5,000-year-old metropolis Ein Esur that housed some 6,000 residents has been uncovered alongside Israel’s newest city, Harish, during new roadworks.

The world of biblical archaeology in the Middle East is buzzing right now with the news of the discovery of the largest ancient settlement ever found in the region of Israel and trans-Jordan, a city called Ein Esur that was so massive in its day that archaeologists are calling it ‘Israel’s NYC’, and only partially tongue in cheek. This scope of this find is so large they really aren’t even sure exactly what they’ve found. Ein Esur dates back to the time of the very first pharaoh in Egypt, that’s how old this city is. Amazing.

“Hast thou not heard long ago how I have done it, and of ancient times that I have formed it? now have I brought it to pass, that thou shouldest be to lay waste fenced cities into ruinous heaps.” 2 Kings 19:25 (KJV)

The article below goes on to say that they have also discovered settlements that are ‘7,000 years old’, which would be a pretty good trick considering the Bible only records a history of humans dating back around 6,000 years. Needless to say, we will be watching the developments of Ein Esur very closely and will report to you as soon as new information becomes available. But I will make one prediction right now. When they dig a little deeper, they will find artifacts that will establish a direct connection with matching accounts contained in the Holy Bible. That’s a virtual guarantee.

‘Israel’s ancient NYC’: 5,000-year-old Canaanite megalopolis Ein Esur may rewrite history

FROM TIMES OF ISRAEL: The 160-acre (over 650 dunam) city is the largest Early Bronze Age settlement excavated in Israel, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Sunday. “It is much larger than any known site in the land of Israel — and outside the land of Israel — in the region of Jordan, Lebanon, southern Syria,” said excavation co-director Dr. Yitzhak Paz in an IAA video.

In addition, just ahead of the construction of a new interchange over the Ein Esur (Ein Asawir) archaeological site, IAA archaeologists also discovered an earlier, 7,000-year-old Chalcolithic settlement under several of the 5,000-year-old structures.

“This is a huge city – a megalopolis in relation to the Early Bronze Age, where thousands of inhabitants, who made their living from agriculture, lived and traded with different regions and even with different cultures and kingdoms in the area… This is the Early Bronze Age New York of our region; a cosmopolitan and planned city,” said excavation directors Itai Elad, Paz and Dr. Dina Shalem in an IAA statement.

“The study of this site will change forever what we know about the emergence and rise of urbanization in the land of Israel and in the whole region,” said Paz. “And it means that what we know now will change what is written today in the traditional books when people read about the archaeology of Israel.”

Salvage excavations have been taking place at the site for the past two and a half years, financed by Netivei Israel – the National Transport Infrastructure Company Ltd. Over 5,000 high school students and volunteers from the area have participated in them.

Due to the importance of the site, Netivei Israel has significantly increased the height of the planned interchange and will preserve the excavations through high-tech documentation and physical conservation.

The digs have revealed an Early Bronze Age (end of the 4th millennium BCE) planned city located near Wadi Ara, near two water springs, in the Haifa district of northern Israel. According to Paz, the land is fertile for agriculture and is close to important, central trade routes.

The Ein Esur ancient settlement contained public and private buildings and areas, streets and alleys and was surrounded by a fortification wall.

“The excavation at this site revealed two main settlements,” explained Shalem in an IAA video. “The earliest one is about 7,000 years old. It’s a very large agricultural settlement. Two thousand years later, another settlement became one of the first cities known in this area of the world.”

The layout of the city, said Elad, the third co-director, indicates it was very thoughtfully planned. During the excavation, the team discovered a very large public building that was unlike any of the others. It was, said Elad, most probably a temple or a shrine, inside which was found an area containing burnt animal bones, presumably for sacrifices. In the temple courtyard is large stone basin for liquids, which the archaeologists assume was also used during religious rituals.

“These findings allow us to look beyond the material into the spiritual life of the large community that lived at the site,” said the archaeologists.

For the 5,000 Israeli pupils and young adults — Jews and Arabs — who participated in the excavations, their firsthand knowledge and experiences may also change their perspective and their connection to the land of Israel. As history books are rewritten, the students were on the frontlines of early research.

“The study of this site will change forever what we know about the emergence

[and]

rise of urbanization in the land of Israel and in the whole region,” said Paz. “And it means that what we know now will change what is written today in the traditional books when people read about the archaeology of Israel.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10129

IDF Soldiers Make Incredible Discovery Of Watchtower Dating Back To The First Temple Period In The 8th Century BC Under King Hezekiah In Judah

The tower, which was dated to the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah in the 8th century BCE, was likely part of a network of observation posts that used torches as means to send messages between communities, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement Wednesday. The IAA said the watchtower, which was found on the Paratroopers Brigade training base, was built using especially large stones, some of which weighed as much as eight tons, and was located on high ground overlooking the Hebron Hills, Judean Hills and the coastal area around Ashkelon.

by Geoffrey Grider October 2, 2019

IDF soldiers recently uncovered a watchtower from the First Temple period during an archaeological dig on their base in southern Israel.

To find this watchtower dating back to the time of King Hezekiah is truly an amazing find, and yet another brick in the wall of solid, factual archaeological evidence showing both the historical connection of the Jews to the land, and to the accuracy of the Bible.

“And Hezekiah answered, It is a light thing for the shadow to go down ten degrees: nay, but let the shadow return backward ten degrees. And Isaiah the prophet cried unto the LORD: and he brought the shadow ten degrees backward, by which it had gone down in the dial of Ahaz.” 2 Kings 20:10,11 (KJV)

King Hezekiah was a good king over Judah and Israel, and he is a prominent figure in one of the most incredible accounts in the Bible. The king was sore sick, and lay dying, and with prayers and tears besought the Lord to heal him and extend his life. The Lord not only did that for King Hezekiah, but certified with an absolutely mind-boggling sign. Isaiah the prophet cried out to the Lord on behalf of King Hezekiah, and the sun was turn backwards by ten degrees! Finding this watchtower that dates back to that time is a priceless link to the rich biblical archaeological history of the Jewish people in the holy land.

Troops uncover First Temple-era observation post on training base

FROM THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: The tower, which was dated to the reign of King Hezekiah of Judah in the 8th century BCE, was likely part of a network of observation posts that used torches as means to send messages between communities, the Israel Antiquities Authority said in a statement Wednesday.

The IAA said the watchtower, which was found on the Paratroopers Brigade training base, was built using especially large stones, some of which weighed as much as eight tons, and was located on high ground overlooking the Hebron Hills, Judean Hills and the coastal area around Ashkelon.

“Some 2,700 years after Sennacherib’s campaign, Israel Defense Forces soldiers uncovered a watchtower of soldiers from the Judean army, very similar to the ones the army uses today,” the statement said.

The dig was carried out by soldiers on the base as part of  an IDF initiative to encourage commanders and soldiers to be “responsible and actively involved in protecting the values of nature, the landscape and heritage in their environment.”

Some 150 soldiers undergoing basic training and their commanders took part in the project, the IAA said, and the project was overseen by IAA officials Saar Ganor and Lifshitz Vladik. Ganor and Vladik said the tower appeared to be part of the torch communications system, as described in the Hebrew Bible.

“The strategic location of the tower served as an observation point and warning [system] against the Philistine enemy, one of whose main cities was Ashkelon,” said the IAA. “The Kingdom of Judah built a system of towers and fortresses that were a communications, warning and signaling post, as a way of passing messages and field intelligence,” they added.

According to the IAA, operations at the watchtower ceased in 701 BCE, when the Assyrian King Sennacherib destroyed 46 cities and thousands of villages and farms during his military campaign in Judah. During the dig, the entrance to the tower was discovered to have been sealed, with the IAA saying the soldiers stationed there likely went to a nearby fortified city when the Assyrians invaded.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10109

The Equinox Marked at Dawn in the Wheel of the Giants of the Bashan

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz September 22, 2019 , 2:17 pm

Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaim. His bedstead, an iron bedstead, is now in Rabbah of the Ammonites; it is nine amot long and four amot wide, by the standard amah! Deuteronomy 3:11 (The Israel Bible™)

On Sunday morning, a biannual astronomical event was marked on an ancient structure in a remote section of northern Israel. The structure remains an enigma to archaeologists but some link it to Biblical giants.

Stonehenge in the Golan

After the Six-Day War in 1967, archaeologists studying an aerial map of Israel discovered a strange formation of five concentric rings of loose rock located some ten miles east of the coast of the Sea of Galilee, in the middle of a large plateau covered with hundreds of single-chamber megalithic tombs called dolmens. The formation is not recognizable from the ground, appearing as random piles of rocks, but from above it is quite impressive, with an outer ring more than nearly 520 feet wide and eight feet high. It is called Rujm el-Hiri in Arabic, meaning the “stone heap of the wild cat”, and in Hebrew as Gilgal Refaim, or Wheel of the Giants.

At its center is a mound of loose stones over 65 feet in diameter and over 16 feet tall, covering a burial chamber almost 20 feet long. The entire formation is composed of over 40,000 tons of loose basalt rocks. It was estimated that the transportation and building of the massive monument would have required more than 25,000 working days

Estimates as to when it was built vary widely but the site is believed to be between 5,000-6,000 years old. In comparison, the Egyptian Pyramids were built some 4,500 years ago and Stonehenge in England was built some 3,500 years ago. 

Og: the Giant King of the Bashan

It is interesting to note that the region is known as the Bashan, where Og the king of came out against the Israelites at the time of their entrance into the Promised Land but was vanquished in battle.  Og was an Amorite king, the ruler of Bashan, which contained sixty walled cities and many unwalled towns, with his capital at Ashtaroth. Biblical scholars believe that the Prophet Amos was referring to Og when he referred to a giant Amorite.

Yet I destroyed the Amorite before them, Whose stature was like the cedar’s And who was stout as the oak, Destroying his boughs above And his trunk below! Amos 2:9

In Deuteronomy and later in the book of Numbers and Joshua, Og is called the last of the Rephaim, a Hebrew word that is sometimes interpreted as meaning ‘giants.’ The Hebrew name of the site, Gilgal Rephaim, hints at an ancient link to these giants. 

Only King Og of Bashan was left of the remaining Rephaim. His bedstead, an iron bedstead, is now in Rabbah of the Ammonites; it is nine amot long and four amot wide, by the standard amah! Deuteronomy 3:11

The Biblical measurement of an amah, literally the length of a forearm, is generally considered to be 19.2 inches, which would mean that Og’s bed was over fourteen feet long and over six feet wide.

Midrash explains that the “fugitive” who warned Abraham that Lot had been captured was Og. Og had escaped the flood in the generation of Noah by clinging to the side of the Ark. 

If Og had been the leader of a nation of pre-Abrahamic giants in the region of the Golan it would certainly explain the existence of the mammoth stone structures. 

An Archaeological Enigma

There is no consensus regarding its function. Since excavations have yielded very few material remains, archaeologists theorize that the site was not a defensive position or a residential quarter but most likely a ritual center.

In 2007, the site was excavated by Yosef Garfinkel and Michael Freikman of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Freikman returned in the summer of 2010 for further investigation of the site’s date and function. Freikman believes that the center area was built at the same time as the rings. 

“I wouldn’t call it a religious center,” Dr. Freikman told Breaking Israel News. “It was more of a gathering place for rituals, though not for burials.”

Dr. Freikman noted that by the time of the Bible and the Patriarchs, the site was already abandoned for several hundred years.

“They probably would have known of it as a prominent geographic feature but they would not have known what it was used for,” he said. “There are at least five other similar sites, albeit smaller, with outer circles about 60 meters in diameter and also surrounded dolmans.” 

Circles in the Ground Measuring the Sun and Stars

Dr. Freikman wrote about Gilgal Refaim in the Journal of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University in 2017, noting the astronomical aspects of the site:

“Certain architectural elements of Rujm el-Hiri are aligned with celestial phenomena, namely with the azimuth of sunrise on specific days of the year. For instance, it was claimed that at both equinoxes a spectator standing in the geometrical centre of the complex would see the sun rising exactly in the east through the ‘gunsight’ created by two exceptionally large boulders installed in the outermost wall. Due to the precession of the earth, which gradually changes the azimuth of the sunrise, this phenomenon cannot be observed from the same spot today. However, as this is a very slow process, the spectator must move aside only slightly to witness the sunrise as the architect of Rujm el-Hiri intended.”

Archaeologists Yonathan Mizrachi and Anthony Aveni, studying the structure since the late 1980s, believe the site was used as a celestial observatory.  The entrance way to the center opens on the sunrise of the summer solstice.

The equinox, the instant of time when the plane of Earth’s equator passes through the center of the Sun, will be taking place on Monday morning. Notches in the walls indicate the precise locations of the sunrise for both the spring and fall equinoxes. 

The walls at Rujm el-Hiri seem to have pointed to star-risings for the period, and may have been predictors of the rainy season, a crucial bit of information for the sheepherders of the Bashan plain.

Remote and Neglected

The rings of Gilgal Refaim contain more questions than answers. The site is difficult to get to and neglected by the antiquities authorities but Dr. Freikman prefers it that way. 

“If it became part of pop culture and easily accessible to the general public, it would become like Stonehenge or the Pyramids,” Dr. Freikman said. “Fast food restaurants and souvenir shops would be built around it and the crowds would destroy or steal anything worth studying. For the time being, it is good that the general public doesn’t come in droves.”

But in addition to being a science, archaelogy in Israel has political and religious connotations.

“I would like to return and study the site,” Dr. Freikman said. “There is so much to learn. But it is difficult to raise funds for sites in the Golan. Even after President Trump recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the Golan, many people are still reluctant to archaeological research in the area.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10082

Biblical Archaeologists Discover The City Of Edom, And Why This Is An Amazing Marker On The End Times Bible Prophecy Timeline

The untold story of a thriving and wealthy society in the Arava Desert – in parts of Israel and Jordan – during the 12th-11th centuries BC has been revealed by a Tel Aviv University study. “Using technological evolution as a proxy for social processes, we were able to identify and characterize the emergence of the biblical kingdom of Edom,” explained. Prf. Ezra Ben-Yosef  of TAU’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, who led the study with Prof. Tom Levy of the University of California, San Diego. “Our results prove it happened earlier than previously thought and in accordance with the biblical description.”

by Geoffrey Grider September 18, 2019

The biblical kingdom of Edom has always been a significant puzzle for biblical archeology. Although evidence of it is present in the Bible, the archeological record has always had trouble interpreting the text, which said that it existed as a kingdom long before the kings of Israel.

Of all the many exciting discoveries in biblical archaeology that we have been bringing you over the years, this one today about Edom is perhaps one of the most exciting. Why? Because the prophet Daniel tells us that, in the time of Jacob’s trouble, some of the only areas that Antichrist will not be able to get his grimy paws on are Edom and Moab. And now, biblical archaeologists in Israel have found the remains of Edom.

“He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon.” Daniel 11:41 (KJV)

Why won’t Antichrist be able to get his hands on Edom and Moab? Because that is also where the red rock city of Selah Petra is, the place where the Jewish remnant will flee to protection that we read about all through the Bible. How exciting is this? We are getting closer and closer each and every day, keep your eye on the Eastern skies. He is coming.

The Biblical Kingdom of Edom Has Always Been A Significant Puzzle For Biblical Archeology

FROM THE JERUSALEM POST: The untold story of a thriving and wealthy society in the Arava Desert – in parts of Israel and Jordan – during the 12th-11th centuries BCE has been revealed by a Tel Aviv University study.

“Using technological evolution as a proxy for social processes, we were able to identify and characterize the emergence of the biblical kingdom of Edom,” explained. Prf. Ezra Ben-Yosef  of TAU’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, who led the study with Prof. Tom Levy of the University of California, San Diego. “Our results prove it happened earlier than previously thought and in accordance with the biblical description.”

“Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion. For it shall be, that, as a wandering bird cast out of the nest,so the daughters of Moab shall be at the fords of Arnon. Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the night in the midst of the noonday; hide the outcasts; bewray not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, Moab; be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoiler: for the extortioner is at an end, the spoiler ceaseth, the oppressors are consumed out of the land. And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.” Isaiah 16:1-5 (KJV)

According to the study, which was published Wednesday on the open access scientific journal PLOS ONE, the kingdom’s wealth appears to have been built on a “high-tech network” of copper, the most valuable resource in the region at the time. Copper was used in ancient times to craft weapons and tools, and the production process for copper is incredibly complex.

“Copper smelting was essentially the hi-tech of ancient times,” Ben-Yosef told The Jerusalem Post.

Using a methodology called the punctuated equilibrium model, the research team analyzed findings from ancient copper mines in Jordan and Israel to create a timeline of the evolution of copper production from 1300-800 BCE. They found a significant decrease of copper in the slag – the waste of copper extraction by smelting – at the Arava site. This implies that the process became more efficient and streamlined, something the researchers say is a result of the military invasion of Pharaoh Shoshenq I of Egypt (the biblical “Shishak”), who sacked Jerusalem in the 10th century BCE. Rather than result in destruction in the region, the researchers argue that it instead sparked a “technological leap” in regards to copper production and trade.

 “We demonstrated a sudden standardization of the slag in the second half of the 10th century BCE, from the Faynan sites in Jordan to the Timna sites in Israel, an extensive area of some 2,000 sq.km., which occurred just as the Egyptians entered the region,” Ben-Yosef said. “The efficiency of the copper industry in the region was increasing. The Edomites developed precise working protocols that allowed them to produce a very large amount of copper with minimum energy.”

However, as Egypt was a weaker power at this time, it is unlikely that they would have control over the copper trade, allowing it to remain a local enterprise. Ben-Yosef explained that Egypt was primarily an importer of goods at the time, so they had an interest in streamlining efficiency in the region. In fact, this was not the only new innovation introduced to the region by the invasion of Shoshenq I – the camel was first introduced to the region at this time as well.

“Our new findings contradict the view of many archaeologists that the Arava was populated by a loose alliance of tribes, and they’re consistent with the biblical story that there was an Edomite kingdom here,” Ben-Yosef explained. “A flourishing copper industry in the Arava can only be attributed to a centralized and hierarchical polity, and this might fit the biblical description of the Edomite kingdom.”

While archeology had never doubted the existence of the Edomite kingdom, it was widely assumed to have emerged around the late eighth century BCE in Edomite Plateau, located in Jordan near Petra and southeast of the Dead Sea.

“Before they built their capital in the plateau, the Edomites were a complex and organized kingdom, but they were still nomadic,” Ben-Yosef explained to the Post. “They dwelt in tents. They didn’t have villages or cities, but they had cemeteries and smelting sites.” The Edomites eventually did settle in cities on the plateau and built settlements along the trade routes, but these findings prove that they possessed a centralized system of organization long before they settled.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10061

The Biblical town of Emmaus, which is linked to Jesus’ resurrection and the Ark of the Covenant, may have been found

By James Rogers | Fox News

Archaeologists in Israel may have discovered the Biblical town of Emmaus, which is linked to Jesus’ resurrection and the Ark of the Covenant.

Haaretz reports that archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a 2,200-year-old fortification at Kiriath-Jearim, a hill on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh, a village near Jerusalem.

The fortification dates back to the Hellenistic period when ancient Greek influence in the region was strong. Tel Aviv University Professor Israel Finkelstein told Haaretz that the walls were repaired during the later period of Roman rule in the first century A.D.

Finkelstein and his fellow researchers suggest that the site could be the famous Biblical town, or village, of Emmaus. According to Christian tradition, Jesus appeared to two of his apostles on the road to Emmaus after his crucifixion and resurrection.

In Luke 24:13-35 Emmaus is described as being about 7 miles from Jerusalem. This corresponds with the distance between Kiriath-Jearim, Abu Ghosh and Jerusalem.

Emmaus is also described in ancient histories as being a fortified town west of Jerusalem.  The Kiriath-Jearim site is west of Jerusalem.

Kiriath-Jearim is also mentioned in the Bible as one of the places where the Ark of the Covenant stood. Last year Finkelstein and his fellow researchers reported that the site of Kiriath-Jearim is the hill on the outskirts of Abu Ghosh.

The latest research is described in a forthcoming paper published in the journal “New Studies in the Archaeology of Jerusalem and its Region.”

Other locations, however, have also been suggested as the site of Emmaus, such as the ancient Byzantine town of Emmaus Nicopolis and the modern village of Motza, according to Haaretz.

The dig at Kiriath-Jearim is a joint project of Tel Aviv University and the College de France, supported by the Shmunis family in San Francisco. Finkelstein, who leads the project with Thomas Romer and Christophe Nicolle of the College de France, told Fox News that the latest discoveries offer a fascinating glimpse into the site’s role in the ancient world.

“The finds at Kiriath-Jearim hint at its long-term role as guarding the approach to Jerusalem,” he explained, via email. “This can be seen in the Iron Age, Hellenistic and early Roman periods. The Hellenistic and Roman period remains shed light on the much-debated issue of the location of the New Testament’s Emmaus.” The prominent Israeli archaeologist is renowned for taking an “evidence-based” approach to his research, which acknowledges the complexity of Biblical texts. “Reading the Bible, it is important to distinguish historical facts from the ideological/theological stances of the authors,” he told Fox News in 2017.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10033

2,600-Year-Old Seal with Biblical Name “Adneyahu Asher Al Habayit” Found Near Temple Mount

By BIN staff September 10, 2019 , 12:44 pm

“Adoniyahu is in fear of King Shlomo and has grasped the horns of the mizbayach, saying, ‘Let King Shlomo first swear to me that he will not put his servant to the sword.’ (Kings 1 1:51)

The “Adonayahu Asher Al Habayit” bulla (seal). Photo Credit: Eliyahu Yanai, City of David

CITY OF DAVID, JERUSALEM (12/9/2019) A Bulla (seal) bearing a Hebrew name from 2,600 years ago was uncovered from dirt excavated in 2013 beneath Robinson’s Arch at the foundations of the Western Wall. The seal is inscribed with the name of an individual with the most prominent role in the king’s court in the kingdom of Judea. The Bulla (seal), which was used to sign documents, bears the Hebrew name and title: “Adenyahu Asher Al Habayit” which literally translates as “Adenyahu by Appointment of the House”- a term used throughout the Bible to describe the most senior minister serving under a king of Judea or Israel.

According to archaeologist Eli Shukron, who conducted the initial excavations on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority just north of the City of David at the Foundation Stones of the Western Wall: “This is the first time this kind of archaeological discovery has been made in Jerusalem. The Biblical title “Asher Al Habayit” was the highest-ranking ministerial position beneath the king during reigns of the Kings of Judea and Israel, it is undoubtedly of great significance.”

“This tiny bulla has immense meaning to billions of people worldwide. The personal signet of a senior official to a Biblical King from the First Temple Period. This is another link in the long chain of Jewish history in Jerusalem that is being uncovered and preserved at the City of David on a daily basis.” Said Doron Spielman, Vice-President of the City of David Foundation which operates the site in which the bulla was discovered and the Archeological Experience where it was uncovered.

The bulla is approximately one-centimeter-wide, and according to the type of writing that appears on it dates to the seventh century BC – the period of the Kingdom of Judea.

The term “Asher Al Habayit” describes the most senior role in the royal hierarchy in the kingdom of Judah and Israel and it appears for the first time on the list of ministers of Solomon. This role is mentioned in the Bible in reference to a number of figures that have a considerable influence in the kingdom and it describes a senior minister who was very close to the king.

For example, “Abdihu Asher Al Habayit,” in the Book of Kings I, is mentioned as having served in that role in the Kingdom of Israel, under the reign of King Ahab during times of Elijah the Prophet. As part of his tenure, Abedihu acted against Isabel in administering the kingdom and even saved a hundred of the prophets of the Lord after hiding them in a cave.

Also in this role in the Kingdom of Judea during the reign of King Hezekiah was “Elyakim son of Partiah Asher Al Habayit”. According to the book of Isaiah, Elyakim negotiated with Rabshka, one of the ministers of King Sennacherib King of Assyria, who threatened to conquer Jerusalem.

The name Adenayahu that appears on the bulla appears throughout the Bible:

This name belonged to one of King David’s sons as mentioned in the Book of Kings. Another individual with that name is mentioned as one of the Levites in the days of Jehoshaphat. Lastly, in the days of Nehemiah, he is mentioned as one of the “Heads of, the people…(Nehemiah, 9:16).

It should be noted that some 150 years ago, French archeologist Charles Clermont-Ganneau

discovered a burial cave with the inscription: “Tomb of …..yahu Asher Al Habayit.” The beginning of the name had been erased, but the burial site, on the outskirts of the City of David was also dated to the seventh century BC, much like the recent bulla. Although discovered by Clermont-Ganneau, the inscription was only deciphered by Prof. Nachman Avigad some eighty years later.

The bulla was covered in dirt that was excavated in 2013, until three weeks ago, when it was uncovered as part of the City of David’s volunteer Archeological Experience, by an Israeli teenager named Batya Howen, who described the moments of the discovery: “I began sifting through the bucket of dirt by washing it under a stream of water, and suddenly I recognized a small piece of black colored piece of metal. To hold such a significant find from 2600 years ago, from the time of the Kingdom of Judah, is an amazing thing.”

The bullae stamps – were small pieces of tin used in ancient times to sign documents, and were meant to keep the letters closed en route to their destination.

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